I have been away in the UK for a week – maybe some comments in a later post – West Midlands with faithful friends in the Net and Amblecote and then Scotland with YWAM. While away I need remind no-one about the horrendous scenes in Paris, one headline saying that: Bataclan police ‘really saw hell’. Of that I have no doubt. I have often said to Gayle that I can understand why people are atheists when the depth of suffering is looked in the eye, and I am thankful that I too am an ‘atheist’, that I do not believe in a sovereign god who decrees such things and is not moved. I am hesitant to write something as there are limited words that can be added at this time. Words can be ‘sweet in the mouth’ but there is something in and through all of this that leaves us with severe stomach cramps (Rev. 10). However a few comments.
A people movement
At the end of last year a good trusted and remarkable prophetic seer / intercessor wrote us to say that 2015 would see the beginnings of a remarkable people movement with its start and emphasis in France. The sign this would take place would be the spontaneous singing of the Marseillaise (French national anthem). In early January this occurred and even in the National Assembly there was a spontaneous outbreak when the parliament members started singing the national anthem following a minute’s silence. It was the first time since the end of the First world war (1918) that if had been sung in the French Parliament.
A sign given like that gets one’s attention. Now we have it again. When in Amblecote I shared some of this and then said that it will be sung also on the streets of England spontaneously. When I finished two people asked if I had heard the news of this taking place in Trafalgar Sq. I had not – and since then it was sung (OK not this time spontaneously) at Wembley last night.
We are undoubtedly in one of the largest people movements / migrations the planet has experienced. Such movements mark a change of time practically and also of course spiritually. And beyond that there is a people movement that is bubbling away that is fuelling a ‘new political’ space.
The fear narrative
The fear response is inevitably very strong to what we have seen. Fear of what seems uncontrollable is normal but we have to rise above this. Years ago, not necessarily from a prophetic perspective, but from what I thought was a rather obvious perspective, I said that ‘take out Osama bin Laden and it will not destroy Al Quaeda but only strengthen it’. Read ‘The spider and the starfish’ and there is a good analysis of the difference between an organisation with a discernible head / headquarters and a movement with an ideology (virus) and leadership that is distributed throughout it. Attack the latter and the result will be a strengthening and perhaps also what appears to be mutations. (Of course the body of Christ, as it flows from the meal / Passover table and from the Upper Room is a ‘starfish’ not a ‘spider’.)
Now with IS we have a movement that is fuelled eschatologically, with the belief in a major battle in the Middle East with Jesus returning at the head of the faithful to fight against the infidels. Strange beliefs, but not too different to that of many fundamentalist Christians – BTW Armageddon does not exist. Never has, cannot be found on any map, so I don’t think we should be focused on that kind of interpretation!
A child shall lead them
This is a Scripture that has been making an impact on me. while in Amblecote I spoke that we can seek a 5 year, a 10 year or whatever strategy, but that Jesus places a child in the midst and the result will be an ‘eternal’ strategy. As I spoke those words the kids in the upstairs room without any knowledge of what I was saying began to stamp on the floor. The timing was immaculate. I thought it was thunder and only later was it explained to me as to what it was. The change of heart for many in the current people movement was the photo of the child on the beach. A child shall lead them. Or now the possibility of fear.
Don’t see all Muslims as endorsing fanatical Islam
We should not lump all Muslims together as if they are all of that fanaticism. Not all Christians support (with hindsight) the Crusades, the evangelisation of the Empires that forced conversion, nor the policies of the KKK. John makes in Revelation things pretty clear – the enemy are the beasts that operate under the dragon that de-humanise. If our theology de-humanises people so that we instantly rejoice in the death of others we need to ask whether this is a ‘Lamb-theology’ or a ‘beast-theology’.
How things are and what they should be
Of course there are huge complications, and we live in a fallen world that facilitates evil. How politicians are to respond takes wisdom and grace. They will not always get it right. Hopefully we then are not simply critical of them, but we have to be careful we do not endorse a myth just because it might seem to be the only alternative. A fallen world also facilitates redemptive ways. For those we have to pray that they manifest. If force is seen to work or be effective (!!) we must not confuse how things are with how they should be. If we cannot move beyond that we are in danger of denying the way of the cross – the violent death on the cross by the ones who exercised ‘justice’ became the means of redemption of the oppressed. Any suggestion that this is the only way to respond should only provoke that there has to be another way.
Racism is so subtle or maybe not. I was reading Charlotte Farhan, a Parisienne who refused to overlay her Facebook profile wiht the tricolour of the French flag. She said as French she could not do this.
My heart is with the world, no borders, no hierarchy. I hold every human’s life with value who is attacked by extremist beliefs whether they are based on religion, prejudice or profit. Don’t be part of the ‘us and them’ that the warmongers want you to do.
The loss of French life was absolutely tragic. It brings it home to us that we are not safe. Yet many are being tortured and killed daily that we in the West do not record. These are painful days, and for families involved these ‘days’ will not disappear in the near future. And for the many who have lost land, families, and all normal points of security in Syria and the neighbouring lands their painful days seem to have no end.
My current perspective on the return of Christ is that it is delayed until… until in the issues of life the ‘church’ moves beyond self-preservation, nationalism and de-humanisation. I don’t know if when we fail to respond rightly whether we remove / reduce the stockpile of gold, sliver and precious stones. I hope not.